ISLAMABAD: Cultivating rice by using direct seeding of rice (DRS) through drill, farmers can save up to 25 percent water, labour at the time of transplantation, reduce their overall cost of production drastically, and enhance yield per acre of the crop by up to 20 percent. “The DRS technology improves farmers profitability by allowing savings on a hectic and lengthy land preparation process, substituting labour and, more crucially, getting better plant population,” said WAPRO Project Manager Zafar Iqbal while talking to a group of rice growers. A demonstration on sowing of direct seeding of rice was conducted by the rice partners (RPL) in rural part of Muridke in collaboration with Mars Food and Intercooperation Pakistan, said a statement received on Sunday. Zafar informed that the RPL had organised many activities in the past six months to promote direct seeding of rice in rice value chain. Muhammad Ihsan, a farmer, who adopted the DSR technique first time in his life on his 70 acres, informed said that he was happy to see the results of his rice crop as DSR technology helped reduce his overall expenses on crop management besides improving production of the crop. Project Agronomist Imran said on the occasion that in the present scenario of water scarcity in the country, drill sowing was inevitable for sustainable rice cultivation. “Their work in drill sowing of rice has been welcomed by farmers, as this system provides a lot of benefits like drudgery and land preparation time is saved, optimum plant population management can be maintained, energy use is reduced by 30 percent, and water use is reduced by 25-30 percent,” he added. He further discussed with the farmers during field day and said many researches show that rice cultivation through drill increases the yield up to 10-15 per acre. “As a result, rice growers spent less on their crop management and earn more as compare to conventional methods of rice cultivation,” he added. Invited farmers visited the demo plot of host farmer and admired the health of crop, asked questions on the relevant topic, which were responded promptly by the host farmer. Chief Operating Officer Ali Tariq assured the farmers about their full cooperation and services including free supply of drills, good quality seed and technical advisory service during the entire crop cycle.